On the Passing of Councilwoman Loretta Schneider
Posted on 01/05/2018

On the Passing of Longtime Public Servant and Councilwoman, Loretta Schneider:

Dr. Loretta Schneider had a heart for service. We’re eternally grateful that her life path and heart for service helped paved the way for many great things in Cape Girardeau.

Loretta’s service on the City Council started in 1981, when she was elected as the first woman to serve on the Council. Her first terms on the Council ended in 1986, and Loretta continued sharing her time and talents with the community by serving on many boards, commissions, and committees. Loretta was re-elected to the Council, serving again from 2005 through 2016 and was Mayor Pro Tem from 2010 to 2012. She was one of the longest-serving council members under the City Charter, adopted in 1981.

In addition to being passionate about serving Cape Girardeau, Loretta was a staunch advocate for anti-litter and beautification campaigns. She was heavily involved with the Solid Waste Task Force, the Keep Cape Beautiful Committee and supported the push for a no smoking ordinance.

Along with her husband, Loretta was a major advocate for youth sports and programs for seniors with Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation, and served on the Parks Development Foundation from 2012 to 2016. 

Many other notable city accomplishments that took place during her many decades of community service: Voters approving the City Charter with the Council-Manager form of government (1981); establishing the Downtown Special Business District (1983); approving the City Council Ward System (1992) and adopting Council term limits (1996); development of the Greater Cape Girardeau Business Park and Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority; approval by voters of the Parks and Recreation/Stormwater Sales Tax, Fire Sales Tax, Transportation Trust Fund Sales Tax, and funding for the new Wastewater Treatment Facility; adoption of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Downtown Strategic Plan; revision of a 40-year-old zoning code; creation of Cape Girardeau’s first Residential Historic District; purchase of the new Public Works facility; renovation of the Marquette Tower and former Federal Building on Broadway; completion of the downtown flood wall murals; improvements to the flood wall protection system (partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); establishing the Town Plaza CID, Downtown Cape Girardeau CID, and Downtown TIF; established the landlord licensing program; expansion of the Cape Rock Water Treatment Plant and conversion to well water; Drury Lodge / convention center redevelopment; automated trash/single-stream recycling and automated leaf pick up programs; designated bicycle lanes and trail enhancements; Keep Cape Beautiful Committee efforts; Neighborhood Development Initiative; funding the new police headquarters and fire station improvements; many new businesses including Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and others; construction and opening of West Park Mall, the Show Me Center, the River Campus, Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge and Mississippi River Overlook, the Osage Centre and Cape Splash, the Shawnee Park Center, the I-55 LaSalle/East Main interchange, Broadway corridor improvements, Fire Station 3 and the Emergency Operations Center; and breaking ground on the new Cape SportsPlex and Transfer Station. 

“Loretta was always very dedicated to her beloved city,” said Mayor Harry Rediger. “Many years of service to community, church, and other agencies made Cape Girardeau what she always desired: A better community with an always improving quality of life.”

“Dr. Loretta Schneider was a trailblazer in city politics,” said City Manager Scott Meyer. “She first served on Council starting in April 1981 and served later from 2005 through 2016. She also served as Mayor Pro Tem from 2010 to 2012.” 

“What I remember about Loretta’s service was her desire for open and transparent government.  She was an advocate for what we now call special study sessions, where council hears from staff and then discusses a single subject outside of the regular council schedule,” said Meyer. “Loretta was also an advocate for a clean and beautiful city, serving on the Keep Cape Beautiful Committee even after her tenure on the Council was term limited.  She was also a champion of the Charter form of government.”

Words cannot express how much Loretta’s contributions have meant to our community these past decades. She will be greatly missed.

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